Doing your work efficiently is simply not enough nowadays. Customer Experience (CX) is essential to retain clients and make them feel special.
If you visit two restaurants with the same quality of food and service, which one do you prefer? You prefer the one in which the waiters pay special attention to you. They ask them about your day, crack a joke or give you a compliment. That’s the beauty of customer experience.
The same applies to accounting businesses. In most cases, the customers feel that the accounting firm is doing its job well but is just not interested in familiarizing with them. As a result, as soon as they get a better offer from another accounting firm, they start considering their options.
Due to technological advancements and the emergence of the Internet in the modern era, it is not so difficult to reach out to potential clients. However, keeping one around is a challenge. If the customer does not have an emotional connection with your accounting firm, it is possible for the customer to take a better option as soon as they are offered one.
As long as you start connecting with your customers at a personal level, they will stay due to personal attachment to your firm. As per Harvard Business Review, emotional connection with customers is more important than customer satisfaction.
Although there is no pre-defined procedure to improve customer experience there are certain aspects that will help you build a trusting relationship with your customers.
Here are some of the aspects of customer experience that you should consider including in your accounting business process.
1. Customer Service vs Customer Experience (Reactive vs Proactive)
Customer Service and Customer Experience are two terms that are often confused. A majority of accounting businesses offer an excellent customer service but do not put many efforts into the customer experience.
A good customer service is when your client reports an issue and you resolve it in no time. Whereas, good Customer Experience is when you call the customers to ask if they are facing any issue.
These two statements perfectly describe the difference between the two. Customer experience is not reacting to a situation. It is reacting regardless of the situation. This is called a proactive approach.
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You should not wait for an issue to contact them. Rather try to interact with them regularly to ensure that you are always at their beck and call. If they faced an issue in the past, ask them if anything could be done to prevent the issue in the future.
2. Personalized Touch
Customer Experience implies that you are not only working for the customer but are also care for their company. Try to build a strong relationship with clients by asking about the client’s goal and aspirations.
You should have detailed information about the history of the company and its future endeavors. Arrange events for your clients where you can share ideologies and exchange ideas.
A client does not appreciate a cookie-cutter approach by the accounting firm. What it implies is that each client is different and has its own expectations. Try to treat every client personally and connect to them accordingly.
3. Constant Communication
When asked by the customers about their accountants, most of them admitted that they hear from their accountants only during tax filing.
This lack of communication can sometimes hamper customer experience. Keep in constant touch with your customers. Ask them how they are doing and if they would like some help.
Keep sending them newsletters and invite them to events. You should treat the customers as partners not as someone you are working for. Since you are in constant contact with the customers, they will think twice before considering a new accounting firm.
4. Feedback From Customers
Feedback is an efficient and streamlined way of knowing what the customers think about you. It can also help you take suggestions from the customers to improve the customer experience.
Including the appropriate points in the feedback form is very important. It should contain all the points regarding the customer experience rather than questions regarding the performance.
Questions like how the customer feels about the firm, are they being contacted regularly should be included. This shows that the firm values the customer’s opinion and wants to improve constantly.
5. Appreciation Towards the Customers
Your client deserves your appreciation. What generally happens is that the companies toil hard to get a client but not enough to keep them around. As soon as the client seems permanent, the companies start showing less and less appreciation.
You customers’ opinion should be the most important thing to you. Show them gratitude for staying with you whether it is one year or one month.
Send letters congratulating the firm on any achievements showing them that you are happy for their success. Wish the clients on personal events like birthdays.
Let’s Do a Recap!
A great customer experience entails developing a personal connection with customers which leads to retention of customers for long durations. As the customers are emotionally invested with your accounting business, they will gladly refer you to others which will result in a higher rate of client referrals.
To improve your customer experience, you should know the customer’s journey, their goals and aspirations. Keep interacting with your clients on a regular basis to know how they feel about your company. Add a personal touch by wishing the customers on personal milestones.
Showing appreciation to your customers by offering them discount and appreciation mails goes a long way. Also, taking feedback from the customers helps you improve your quality of service and level of trust.
Customer Experience when incorporated in the accounting process leads to customer loyalty and connection.